While I was there I ran into a lot of girlfriends and even met some Twitter followers that I didn’t know, but I also got inspired. I walked out empty handed from the show. Then on Sunday I walked into Blick. I walked out with 8 little canvases, some new brushes and some more acrylic paint. This time I got Liquitex, which is the paint from my childhood, instead of a value brand.
I didn’t have anything in mind, I just needed to paint. So I put the little canvases together and started painting. I thought I was going to do a bench on a hill overlooking the sea and a sunset. Something I imagine often as an ideal way to spend an evening. I wound up with a swath of green, one of blue and one of red. Then I decided to keep with my Hebrew habit of old and went looking for something to write over it.
I started singing “rish rush of the water” over and over again. That is a mix of English and Hebrew from Eli, Eli a poem by Hannah Senesh. We sang it at my bat mitzvah and it is one of my favorite songs. The melody is haunting and water does go “rish rush.” Hannah Senesh was executed when she was almost 23 and packed more into her short life than most of us could ever do. She was a paratrooper and was dropped into Hungary to try to save Hungarian Jews. Her story is one worth knowing.
O Lord, my God, I pray that these things shall never end. The sand and the sea, the rush of the waters, the crash of the heavens, the prayer of man. Eili Eili Shelo yigameir l’olam, Hachol v’hayam rishrush shel hamayim, B’rak hashamyim t’filat ha-adam.
This is now hanging in my bedroom. I don’t know that it is finished, but I love the sentiment behind the song and I know that I’m looking at Israel in the blue, green and red.